Washington County Community Bike Center
137 NE 3rd Ave.
Hillsboro, OR 97124
Dulce and Estella
October 1, 2012
Two young girls from Cornelius, Dulce and Estella Castilla, were disappointed they couldn’t participate in a community ride because they didn’t have bicycles to ride. Maria Davila of Metro’s Vámonos Project, a community outreach effort to create awareness of the benefits of walking and biking for transportation and health, tried to find an affordable option so that the girls could participate in the event.
Maria reached out to the Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition (“WashCo BTC”), a non-profit bike shop and a partner in the Vámonos Project, in hopes of renting bicycles for the girls. Although WashCo BTC doesn’t have a rental program, Maria discovered loaner bikes could be arranged. Tim Mitchelldyer, shop manager, asked that the girls come in before the ride to be fitted for the proper size. When Estella hopped on her bicycle, he couldn’t get over her big smile. Tim said, “She smiled and just kept smiling. I’ve never seen a child smile so big!”
Tim reported Estilla’s infectious smile to others within the organization and suggested that the WashCo BTC give bicycles to the two girls.
“It was not a hard decision to make,” commented board member and ride leader Carl Nelson. “This is what The WashCo BTC enjoys doing – getting people, especially kids, on bicycles.” In the case of Dulce and Estella Castilla, the two girls received a bicycle and locks for their bikes, an early holiday gift that will last for many years to come.
For three years, WashCo BTC has sponsored an Adopt-A-Bike program for the holidays to give bicycles to those who may not otherwise get one. Children and some adults receive a bicycle package consisting of a refurbished bicycle, a new helmet, a lock, and a two-hour skills course. In 2011, 54 bicycle packages were adopted. The WashCo BTC is hoping to have another successful year. Click here to get connected to the 2012 Adopt-A-Bike program.
Read what the Oregonian has to say about Dulce and Estella's new bikes.
SolarWorld and WashCo BTC
This month, we would like to recognize SolarWorld as one of our strongest corporate partners. SolarWorld has been the presenting sponsor of Tour de Parks for the past three years, but our partnership goes much deeper.
SolarWorld management and the Employee Green Team are deeply committed to supporting bike commuting as a part of their mission to be a sustainable company and to promote the health and wellness of employees. They provide covered bike parking, a tool kit for emergency repairs, and locker rooms with showers for the dozen or so all-weather bike commuters who work there. They provide printed maps of the most bike-friendly routes from the three nearest MAX stations to SolarWorld. They also encourage alternate commuting by participating in the WTA's Carefree Commute Challenge each summer and offering additional prizes and commuter appreciation events. Along with all this, they continue to work with WashCo BTC as a valued partner.
This year, SolarWorld expanded its spring and fall employee e-waste collection events to include a bike drive to benefit the WashCo BTC's BLAST and Adopt-A-Bike programs. The fall event brought in two bikes that will surely brighten children's holidays this year.
Our mechanic, Will Goswitz, returned the goodwill by going to SolarWorld to help staff a free bike tune up clinic for employees. These are popular events that help reinforce SolarWorld's support of biking for transportation and health, and we have helped with several over the past four years. Not only do bike commuters take advantage of having a professional mechanic check their bike, but some employees who can't bike to work bring their bikes or their kids' bikes to get them ready for the weekend ride. One of our Board Members, Emily Hackett, first started volunteering for WashCo BTC after we met her at a SolarWorld bike clinic in 2009. At our most recent clinic last month, we fixed up a job candidate's bike during his interview. We don't know if he got the job, but we put in a good word for him and he got a smoother ride home.
If you would like to explore a partnership between WashCo BTC and your business, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are seeking more local corporate partners, and our adult education programs will be great for your employee sustainability or wellness programs.
SolarWorld employee Susie Morris at the recent bike clinic
Kids' bikes collected at SolarWorld's fall bike drive.
|Hugh celebrating his 80th birthday after riding 80 miles in under 8 hours.|
We first met Hugh at the 4th Annual Tour de Parks, where he was riding the 60 mile “Le Grande Tour” in 90 degree heat. Hugh was actually in training for a milestone birthday event: he had set a goal to ride 80 miles in 8 hours, on his 80th birthday. To, uh, “gear up” for this event Hugh was riding daily and tracking his progress on his blog (http://80-80-8.blogspot.com/). Finally, Hugh’s birthday dawned clear and cool — a blessing after several days of rain. Although he faced some wind the day of his big ride, Hugh made his goal — with 8 minutes to spare! WashCo BTC was there to document the ride, and together with Elders In Action, help him celebrate with an honorary membership to WashCo BTC and over 80 cupcakes.
Click here to read Hugh’s story in The Oregonian… and click here to read a recent update.
|Jose (in green) and helmeted friends with Nancy Nelson, WashCo BTC volunteer.|
In September, Patterson Elementary ESL teacher Michelle Myers, partnered with the WashCo BTC on a bicycle safety project to provide new bike helmets to students. One of the students, 9-year-old Jose (in the green Tshirt), mentioned that he needed a new helmet so he could ride his sister’s pink Barbie bike. Ms. Myers and the WashCo BTC presented Jose with an opportunity to earn a refurbished bicycle by improving his work habits and completing homework.
Since the beginning of October 2010, Jose has completed 95% or better of his assignments each week. On October 29, Jose received his new bike at school. Pictured is Jose with his mother and sister, Patterson principal Jonathan Pahukula, his teacher Michelle Myers, and Nancy Nelson the representative from WashCoBTC who presented him with a certificate of achievement.
Update (April 2011): We continue receiving updates on Jose. He has entered and won an art contest. He participates in giving announcements over the school intercom. His grades continue to improve as does his health. Jose is asthmatic. Since receiving and riding his bicycle daily, Jose only has to use an inhaler occasionally.
Update (June 2011): Jose’s teacher, Michelle Myers, continues to stay in touch with us. As the school year is winding down, she writes: “Hello! Thanks so much for keeping in touch with Jose and me this year. He gets a BIG smile on his face whenever I mention that you have asked about his progress.
I am happy to report that Jose has continued with his academic success. He attended a 14 week (Tu, Thurs) math tutorial which improved his state test score by 8 pts over last year. He also stayed after school for 6 weeks (Weds) to stay on top of his homework. His teachers have marveled at the change in this boy! He rides his bike EVERY DAY, rain or shine… ”
Click here to read Jose’s story in The Oregonian.
|Tyler gets his bike|
Tyler is a 12 year old, sixth grader attending Lincoln Street elementary school in Hillsboro. Tyler’s family has been hit hard by the economic downturn and just recently relocated. When moving, they were not able to take any bicycles. WashCo BTC was introduced to Tyler through the Hillsboro B.L.A.S.T (Bringing Leadership Arts & Sports Together) program. Tyler was extremely quiet during the classes but performed well.
As the classes progressed so did Tyler. We saw him emerge from this quiet timid boy to smiles and showing leadership skills to his fellow students.
We heard of the family history and asked if we could help Tyler acquire a bicycle. Tyler was asked to be a student leader in the following B.L.A.S.T. class, and he did this. On May 11, 2011, at the Lincoln Street Spirit Assembly, the WashCo BTC presented Tyler with a bike, a lock, and other accessories.
More local press for WashCo BTC...
Nonprofit bicycle shop WashCo BTC gifts Cornelius girls bikes (The Oregonian, October 30, 2012)
"For Dulce and Estrella Castillo of Cornelius, this year's holiday season came early. The girls, ages 10 and 7, wanted to participate in a community bike ride Sept. 22 organized by Metro's ¡Vámonos! program, which encourages healthy living among Washington County Latinos. But with two broken bikes and no money to fix them, the girls were in a bind." Read more
Downtown Hillsboro will soon have three bike shops (The Oregonian, February 28, 2012)
“Downtown Hillsboro soon will have three bike retail and repair stores. Two shops — the new Hillsboro Bike Co. and the previously Aloha-based Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition — will join 18-year downtown veteran Bike n Hike this month.” Read more
Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition raising money to give bikes, accessories to Hillsboro students (The Oregonian, November 9, 2011)
“The Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition is trying to raise $2,500 for its annual ‘Adopt a Bike.’ The non-profit’s goal is to give 50 bicycles and accessories to students at Reedville, Kinnaman and Lincoln Street elementary schools for Christmas. For $50, donors can sponsor one child.” Read more
Hillsboro resident Hugh Ferguson completes 80-mile bike ride on 80th birthday (The Oregonian, September 28, 2011)
“Six months ago, Hugh Ferguson set a goal for himself. He worried it was a silly goal, but he began training to bike 80 miles in eight hours on his 80th birthday.” Read more
WashCo BTC – Supporting Kids & Communities (BicyclePaper.com, July 2011)
“For years, nine-year-old Jose Vargas watched friends speed by on their fast and fancy wheels while he lagged behind on his older sister’s hand-me-down ‘girly bike…’” Read more
Catching up with the Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition (Bike Portland, March 27, 2011)
“With the tragic death of Bret Lewis last month, many people in the Portland metro area have become more aware of the challenging road conditions faced by people who choose to bike in Washington County… ” Read more
Jose’s Story (The Oregonian, November 26, 2010)
“The first time Jose Vargas rode his new bike, he didn’t stop smiling. The 9-year-old wore a turquoise shirt and white shell-toe sneakers. He rode around the Paul L. Patterson Elementary School parking lot. He rode down the sidewalk. Then Jose looked up at his teacher and asked, ‘Can I just go home and ride my bike now?’” Read more